New Mexico trapping ban passes House by just one vote - Albuquerque Journal

New Mexico trapping ban passes House by just one vote

Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, speaks against a bill to ban trapping on public land. (Eddie Moore/Albuquerque Journal)

SANTA FE – By the slimmest margin, New Mexico legislators granted final approval Thursday to a proposal to ban traps, snares and wildlife poisons on public land.

The state House voted 35-34 in favor of the measure after three hours of intense debate that touched on ranching, outdoor recreation and animal cruelty.

The proposal won Senate approval last week, and it will head next to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.

But Thursday's vote was a cliffhanger. The measure was tied on a 34-34 vote until Rep. Susan Herrera, D-Embudo, called out to register her vote in favor.

The debate didn't fall entirely along party lines, with opposition from some Democrats representing Native American communities and rural areas.

The legislation, Senate Bill 32, was described by supporters as a commonsense step that would prevent the suffering of pets caught or killed in traps and snares.

They call the measure “Roxy's Law,” named after a dog strangled to death by a snare during a 2018 hike.

“This bill is about making sure New Mexicans can enjoy their public lands,” Rep. Matthew McQueen, D-Galisteo, said. “People want to be able to feel safe coming here and enjoying them.”

Legislators on both sides of the debate offered some gruesome stories.

Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, a Roswell Republican and rancher, described finding a pack of coyotes eating a calf during birth. Traps, she said, are a reasonable way to manage predators.

“I've seen my animals be devastated by some of these creatures out there that literally kill for fun,” Spence Ezell said.

If signed into law, the measure would make it illegal to use a trap, snare or wildlife poison “for purposes of capturing, injuring or killing an animal on public land.”

There would be exceptions for Native American ceremonies and ecosystem management by government agencies. Cage traps would also be permitted in some circumstances.

McQueen, a co-sponsor of the legislation, said the bill would boost outdoor recreation. Hikers, for example, wouldn't have to worry about encountering a trap or snare as they enjoy New Mexico's natural beauty.

Since the most recent trapping season began, at least nine dogs have been caught in privately set traps and snares on public land, according to Animal Protection Voters and WildEarth Guardians.

The state Senate passed the bill on a 23-16 vote last week.

Sponsoring the bill are Sens. Roberto “Bobby” J. Gonzales of Ranchos de Taos and Brenda McKenna of Corrales and Reps. McQueen and Christine Chandler of Los Alamos, all Democrats.

If signed into law, the bill would go into effect April 1 next year.

Home » Journal North » Journal North Recent News » New Mexico trapping ban passes House by just one vote


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
PRC orders customer rate credit for San Juan shutdown
ABQnews Seeker
PNM accused of trying to 'cheat' ... PNM accused of trying to 'cheat' customers out of coal-plant savings
2
Developer plans shipping container food hall for Rio Rancho
ABQnews Seeker
Margarita Hill will have eight tenants, ... Margarita Hill will have eight tenants, with a focus on local vendors, and incorporate green space
3
Initial round of rebate checks sent to NM taxpayers
ABQnews Seeker
Relief aims to target inflation, gas ... Relief aims to target inflation, gas prices
4
Rep. Louis agrees to plea deal in DWI case
ABQnews Seeker
Other charges dropped after proof of ... Other charges dropped after proof of insurance, registration provided
5
Jose Armas: 1944-2022: Activist and scholar stood on his ...
ABQnews Seeker
Daughter notes her father 'knew what ... Daughter notes her father 'knew what he stood for' without compromise
6
'Breaking Bad' stars Cranston, Paul coming to Isotopes Park
ABQnews Seeker
Walter White and Jesse Pinkman will ... Walter White and Jesse Pinkman will be back in Albuquerque, together again, and taking in an Albuquerque Isotopes game.
7
Going International: UNM represented at prestigious art expo in ...
ABQnews Seeker
It's a first for the University ... It's a first for the University of New Mexico. An artist group created the project 'a Library, a Classroom, and the World,' which is ...
8
APD: Authorities arrest Coronado Park drug dealer
ABQnews Seeker
Officials say suspect also accused of ... Officials say suspect also accused of selling guns to undercover detectives
9
Two separate incidents overnight Tuesday leave 3 dead, others ...
ABQnews Seeker
No arrests have been made yet ... No arrests have been made yet in either the shooting or a fatal car crash